Sep 30, 2010

Since We're Being Retro...

It's perfect timing that I'm completely loving this song by super-producer-musician Mark Ronson. And the video, we super-duper love it. It's not just retro cool, it's Tron meets Tony Falcon meets Q-tip retro cool! With Japan, France and vinyl record diamond-studded watches thrown in.

Mark Ronson & The Business INTL "Bang Bang Bang" from Warren Fu on Vimeo.

Wasn't that fun? The kiddos at home agree. In fact, we also like the video's Part Two of sorts... The Bike Song.

Sep 26, 2010

40's and 80's

They say life begins at forty but MacDaddy says there's no better way to jump start this new one than by acting like we're sixteen all over again. Not that he had to twist our arms or anyone else's. Rewind to the 80's.

Nana and Nona circa 1988

Me and My MacD

cast of characters

Remember my vision board over at the previous post?

Well here are snippets from last night.

"I love it when a plan comes together" - A Team's Hannibal Smith

Sep 23, 2010

Madness and Mood Boards

Somewhere in the middle of even managing finding the time to breathe (yes, MacD, I promise to finally learn to meditate to get through these crazy crunch times) while getting real things done (read: work and actual obligations), I am attempting to put together a celebration where a certain about-to-be-forty-year-old wants to party like its 1989.  So, yes, for one night, I am all set to recreate the days of big hair, big shoulders,  bad fashion but arguably the best decade for music. 

Mood Board #1
random shots via google images

Then we've got  the dynamic duo. After four years of  putting off having any birthday parties, I'm finally giving in.  It won't be huge  like the ones were used to on this side of the planet, but still.  A party is a party.  Plus if you know me you know I tend to get obsessive compulsive totally into it.  

Mood Board #2
What would i do without you, etsy?

And finally...   When you're turning eighty one and share your birth date with your son and his twin sons, it really is cause to celebrate, to get on a plane, to dance the hula on a sandy beach, and take the family along with you while you're at it.  

Mood Board #3
Thank you again, google images.

Crazy days ahead. Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Sep 21, 2010

Why I Love Comics

Oh, the usual... they tell great stories, they bring you to far away adventures, they have characters who mirror the best and worst of ourselves and all-that-literary-jazz. Comics are funny, sometimes satiric. They can be easy, engaging reads even as they show history and not-so-subtle political commentary.

Some comics are so damn good they have illustrations worthy of museums built just for them.

Also, comics make 6-year-olds read for fun. That in itself is awesome. Comics make kids beg parents to go to the bookstore where they can discover other genres and authors. Today Herge. Maybe one day Tolkien?

And so...

I was at the bookstore when I overheard a mom sneer at her child, "you should be reading chapter books, not that." That being a Geronimo Stilton comic the poor boy was clutching. As Captain Haddock would say, blistering barnacles! To Sneering Mom, except for the crappy ones, what's wrong with comics? There are crappy books just as there are crappy comics. I know, I am taking her remark too personally, but come on, Danielle Steel novel or Neil Gaiman graphic novel? You choose.

Sep 19, 2010

The Art of Business

Looking at artwork lovingly made by four-year old hands taped all over the playroom wall

Tato: Mama, do you want to buy a picture? It's only three pesos.
Me: Of course.

As expected, I only get the little masterpiece when I hand over the cash. No credit with this one. Strict AND shrewd. This isn't the first time he's made something and sold it and I am always impressed how enterprising he can be.

Tato: (drops all three coins in his piggy bank) Mak, hurry up. Color some more pictures. Mama is buying.

Did I say enterprising?

Which reminds me, this is him a couple of months ago learning a few lessons in addition and subtraction from the big boys.

And probably planning the next business venture.

Sep 18, 2010

Positive Discipline

Announcing another Explorations Preschool parent seminar, Positive Discipline in the Filipino Home: a forum focused on successfully implementing positive discipline strategies in various Filipino family settings. Because sometimes, resources don't consider the nuances of Filipino family dynamics.

This forum's resource families include: a father raising 4 children, a mother with a longtime yaya and a mother living with in-laws. The forum will be next Saturday, 25 September, 9am to 11am. Venue is Explorations Preschool 928 Luna Mencias Street, Mandaluyong. This is part of the school's parent development series which is offered free to all Explorations parents. If your child does not go to Explorations you're still welcome. Fee for guests is P350/person. Seats are limited, so call the school for reservations at 724-3320 or 724-4271.

Sep 16, 2010

Bored To Death, not really

More like, busy as hell. 

I have no business writing a post at this time when there's so much Real Business to attend to. Current state being, freelance writer answerable to three bosses in the midst of Deadline Season. Then there's always the husband, kids and home. And training to run better. And social commitments. Friends and family. You know, life. 

Then again, we could all use a little diversion. Hence, this post about today's piece of diversion provided by Jonathan Ames. Since one of my current writing gigs is a TV magazine show, I especially enjoyed reading his essay How to write a TV show, sort of.  He says,  "every step of the way there is a maddening and stressful fear of failure, but since making a TV show is such a collaborative art, there's also a great deal of camaraderie and holding onto each other for dear life." Yeah.

At least we hold perceptions in common, Ames and I. That's it. Because as far as talent goes... he is one of the funniest writers I've read. Then he creates one of the best TV comedies around. Bored To Death Season 2 is coming soon. Yay! 


I wish I could remember all those hilarious lines from Season One. Such as,  Jonathan: "I still like the way pot makes me think! ...maybe its healthy!" Suzanne: "Pot is NOT healthy!" Jonathan: "They give it to cancer patients!" Suzanne: "You don't have cancer!" FunnyAnother favorite from Jonathan's editor/boss/best friend, "You're like me Johnathan, we enthral, and then we disappoint." High-larious. Funnier in the actual scene though and funnier if you knew them. 

Blah blah blah over. Back to work. Yes, at past 8 in the evening when kids are asleep and despite Pappy enticing me to watch some mindless TV...

Sep 8, 2010

One Down

Dear Mak,

This is me being in your face   making up for that journal i never got around to doing still documenting your first date with the tooth fairy.

This is you wiggling your loose tooth like crazy.

This is you munching on that crispy Fuji apple because mommy was too chicken to yank it out.

That is Tato in the background writing the tooth fairy for you, thinking of the bucks the tooth fairy was supposed to fork over even while that tooth was still hanging on for dear life. What a great business manager. He's got your back, Mak.

Thank god for apples. For brave boys.

And for irresistible toothless grins.

Sep 6, 2010

Something Good Can Work

Because sometimes we could use some cheering up. If no one's around to do it, a song can do it for me. Case in point...

A dear friend of mine was feeling, in these exact words, "blech and blah." So was/am I. The week can only get better, right? Here's to hoping it does. As Two Door Cinema Club sings it: Let's make this happen, girl you gonna show the world that something good can work and it can work for you. And you know that it will...  

Sep 2, 2010

The Phantom Tollbooth

I love to rave about things. Call me Ms. Hyperbole. So how can I not rave about the best children's book I've read this year? Now officially one of my favorite books, ever. As I child, I was mesmerized by Alice in Wonderland and thought no book could be more magical and wonderfully weird. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had a similar effect on me. Then comes adulthood, when I fall smack down in love with this piece of literary whimsy...

Published in 1961 and hailed as a children's classic, I read The Phantom Tollbooth just last Sunday... thanks to my kids whose library I regularly refresh with new titles.

Norton Juster, God bless you and your magical way with puns, word play and layered meanings! And the way Juster paints pictures with words? Breathtaking in their absurdity, elegant in their simplicity. Imagining Dictionopolis, The Mountains of Ignorance, The Valley of Sound, The Sea of Knowledge and jumping to The Isle of Conclusions is better than any 3D movie experience. No 3D glasses required kids, just fire up those neurons in your head!

You have to read the book and meet The Everpresent Wordsnatcher. His job is "to take words right out of your mouth." When the young protagonist Milo asks him, "Is everyone who lives in Ignorance like you?" He says, the others are "much worse" then explains that he actually lives in "a place very far away called Context." Don't even suggest that he go back home, as The Wordsnatcher thinks Context is... "such an unpleasant place that I spend almost all my time out of it."

Then there's Faintly Macabre who Milo thought was a Witch, but is actually a not-so-wicked Which whose talent is choosing which words to be used for all occasions.

Only in this land beyond The Phantom Tollbooth will you find the cart without an engine or anything to pull it. When you ride it you just have to be silent as... "it goes without saying."

And if one day we may have to explain the concept of Infinity to a child, we could learn a thing or two from The Mathemagician.

I will stop enumerating my favorite parts of The Phantom Tollbooth, as there is something wonderful to be found in every page, all 255 of them. Juster created such a rich candy land of words, but there is more to it than the word-candy and the enthralling plot to save Princesses Rhyme and Reason.

The Phantom Tollbooth is a Philosophy Book written as satire. Really, it is. It's about the wonderful though often arduous journey we all have to take to find wisdom. There are lessons to be learned here, but Juster also shows great empathy and obviously remembers what it's like to be a child. He is no condescending adult talking down to the little ones.

Milo, who has plenty of time.

Juster's young hero starts off in the grips of typical school boy ennui. Milo's first words in the book: "It seems to me everything is a waste of time... I can't see the point in learning to solve useless problems, or subtracting turnips from turnips, or knowing where Ethiopia is or how to spell February." The book goes on: "And since no one bothered to explain otherwise, he regarded the process of seeking knowledge as the greatest waste of time of all."

Then things start to change when The Phantom Tollbooth mysteriously appears in Milo's bedroom. It is a children's book, so expect the happy ending. I promise I didn't spoil it for you. The journey to that happy ending is what really matters. And oh what a journey it is!